Why I Love: Ugly mugs

Carl Davis, composer
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The Independent Culture

Mugs are a new obsession that I’ve got from travelling, either doing concerts or silent film performances. Wherever I go, I bring back a mug. What I’m really looking for is cheap, nasty airport mugs. Expensive ones are more likely to break, ’cos of the fine china.

I like my mugs – I have about 50 – because of their associations. I look at the one from south Korea or Macau and I remember the experience. Some orchestras make their own china: the City of Birmingham Orchestra has a fabulous mug printed on it.

I’m getting rather choosy: if things don’t go quite right on my trip, I won’t buy a mug. I’m addicted, by the way, to tea and coffee.

Do I always buy them? If they’re for sale. If not, and I’m drinking from a really enticing mug, well, let’s just say my moral guard is down.

Carl Davis’s score for the ballet Alice In Wonderland is out now on CD as part of the Carl Davis Collection.